Inside Steve's Brain Slices: Marvin Battelle on the Thinness of Mac

Steve Jobs Looked Thinner Than Usual at WWDC: So What? [Gizmodo] Is Steve Jobs Sick Again or Just Thin? [Seeking Alpha] Does Steve Jobs Have Cancer Again? [Alley Insider] Steve Jobs' Weight Loss Worries Apple Investors [The Street] Steve Jobs says he doesn't have cancer and why it's not your business anyway [Gizmodo] You know, sometimes I can't help but laugh. You wouldn't understand that I was laughing, of course, as unattuned to the throbbing vibrato of my hyper-evolved, Dirk-Diggler-like pineal gland as a chimpanzee is to morse-code. All you would feel is a wash of self-loathing, as if Lord Xenu had just hocked a cosmic phlegmgobber all over your thetan. And that just makes me laugh all the more. I swear, the LHC can't explode quickly enough. But I'm not here to talk down to you. Let's talk about Steve Jobs. I know many of you are concerned by his weight loss. Over the course of a year, Steve Jobs has gone from the robust picture of what you might call "health" to a ghastly, reptiloid skeleton. His skin is translucent. His eyes insanely bulge from sepulchral hollows bored in a fleshless brainpan, underlined by a yellowing rictus that only stops chattering long enough to shout "BOOM!" with a puff of dust. Is he sick, you wonder? Jobs had cancer, after all. Maybe it came back? Under a blanket in their grandmother's basements, the Cult of Mac flaps their hands around their heads, mascara streaking down their filthy cheeks as they lift their voice up to a shrill falsetto: "Leave Steve Jobs alone!" The internet divides itself into camps: in one corner, those morbidly fascinated by the prospect of a Fortune 500 tech company being driven by a voodoo-resurrected skeleton. The rest, equally fascinated mingers who pretend that they are somehow above the ghoulish delectability of speculating about a man who seems in the midst of the slow process of teleporting himself to Flatland. But let me ask you a question: did it ever occur to you that Steve Jobs' growing emaciation and Apple's insane obsession with thinness were linked? That we may all, in fact, be witnessing a Dorian Gray scenario, in which the corporeality of one man is ineffably linked with his own insane philosophical ideal? That the thinner Nano, the thinner MacBooks, the contemptuous dumping of the "fat" iPod Classic have their avatar in the chattering skeleton remote-controlled by Imagineers at every Apple press event? A man who has boasted for years of a caloric intake in the negative? A galvanic leader of men who once — by his mocking repetition of the phrase "You're fat, fatty" over and over and over again — reduced no less a personage than Carrot Top to hysterical tears? In short, hasn't it ever occurred to you that Steve Jobs is getting thinner at the exact same rate as Apple's products?BOOM! Oh man. Do you feel that? That sense of cosmic rightness, of understanding the whole universe, of seeing the nebulous weave between all things, like 1,500 milligrams of dextromethorphan plunged right through your trephinated shunt? No, don't struggle: just ride it out, my little poppies. Let it wash all over you. Isn't it wonderful? I feel like this all the time. To you cynics: look at it this way. We all know Steve Jobs is the mind and soul of Apple. Imagine, for a moment, a melon balling of Jobs' cadaverous skull, its skin as tight and wrinkled as the head of a balding, freeze-dried orangutang. Holding the pink, play-doh like goo in your hands, you encapsulate in your palms every original idea Apple had ever had. On the furrows of his frontal lobe, you could trace the contours of his Aqua interface; turning your attention to the Rhombencephalon, you would find a MagSafe connection to the spinal cord... a cross compatible iPod dock plugged into the aural receptors. Even the inner hydatid cyst, writhing with larval tapeworms, can not be ignored: this is where FairPlay was born. A man is inseparable from his mind. The reverse is true: a mind in inseparable from a body. So the question is not whether Jobs' emaciation is linked Apple's obsession with thinness. Let me tell you, I'm from the future, and we still talk about WWDC 2011, in which Steve Jobs takes the stage, announces the MacBook Nanoangstrom, shouts "BOOM!", then explodes in a cloud of dust... a substance which John Gruber will one day pay upwards of $100k per vial to mix with saline and inject into his scrotum. The question is "What follows what?" Is Jobs thinness a reflection of his physical illness, and is that reflection then being passed to Apple's products? Or is Jobs' obsession with thinness being consciously calculated upon his own flesh? Duh. Need I remind you of Jobs' unorthodox treatments for his cancer? The Himalayan shamans who massaged his pancreatic tumor with a fist smeared with sea salt, their golden elbows shlorking about Jobs' infamously uptight rectal cavity? Jobs is not a conventional man. An internal audit in 2009 will reveal that Apple ordered a surprising number of 50 gallon tubs of Nepalese intestinal tape worms during the 2007 and 2008 financial years, which internal sources will then indicate Jobs gobbled up like gummi worms. Just as Christ's mortified flesh became the Eucharist of the Christian sacrement, Jobs' flesh is to the sanctified sveltement of the Cult of Mac. And there's no shame talking about it: as a time traveler, I can tell you, he's doing us a great service. Our first emissary to Flatland, Jobs' showering of the natives with quark-like designer laptops will forge the alliance that will see humanity triumphant in the first Great Dimensional War. He is a great man. Next time you attach an umbilical of mayonnaise concentrate to your trachea valve, you'd do well to ask the same question the 27th Century United Nations inscribed above the entry portal to our gulag archipelago of fat camps. WWJD?
Marvin Battelle is Boing Boing Gadget's time traveling band manager. He currently lives in Scotland.
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11 Responses to Inside Steve's Brain Slices: Marvin Battelle on the Thinness of Mac

  1. mdh says:

    Someday they’ll have health issues of their own, and on that day they will eat it. Same as it ever was.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jesus Christ. What garbage.

  3. Nelson.C says:

    I’ve either got to read more BBGadgets, or cut it out altogether….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Obviously a lot of stupid people have never been under the constant care of a doctor.

    As someone who is currently not looking forward to my own upcoming open-heart surgery, let me tell you that they force you to radically change your diet and this almost always leads to the emaciated-vegan/vegetarian look.

    My own cardiologists look like they weigh 85 pounds and can’t understand why anyone would actually care to eat or like food.

    …they’re all seriously brainwashed by their own profession.

  5. historyman68 says:

    Brilliant. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner.

  6. Camillo Miller says:

    Love this post Marvin, but you probably made a logical mistake.

    This is the equation you suggested

    Steve : Thinner Macs = Dorian Gray : The portrait

    In this case Steve should have grown fatter. As you put it he’s the Dorian’s portrait to his products.


  7. buried says:

    I think I’m going to transcribe this post onto a stack of facial tissues, and then cry into them for a while. That seems like the only appropriate response at this moment.

  8. skramble says:

    this was a fun post to read. thanks.

  9. Tubman says:

    @#6, Camillo Miller: Marvin deals in existential truths which transcend mere factuality.

  10. Anonymous says:


  11. OM says:

    “But let me ask you a question: did it ever occur to you that Steve Jobs’ growing emaciation and Apple’s insane obsession with thinness were linked?”

    …Makes sense. One of the primary reasons the early Macs were B&W for so damn long was that Jobs is color-blind. Same reason NeXT boxes were monochrome – he just couldn’t “see” the need for color.

    Those doubting this should note that the B&W Macs weren’t dropped across the line until Scully ousted Jobs back in ’86…

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